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Entries in UFIT Program (4)


The 2016 IHRSA European Congress in Photos

Hundreds of fitness industry professionals from dozens of countries attended the IHRSA European Congress in Seville, Spain, this week. The four-day event was packed with education sessions, networking events, leading equipment and service providers, and, of course, an A-list crowd. 

For those who couldn't join us, we compiled some photo highlights from the event. 

The IHRSA Congress Heads to Spain

This year's event was held at the beautiful Hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento in Seville.


Networking and Reconnecting with Friends  

Over the course of the Congress, there were plenty of opportunities for attendees to meet, catch up, and discuss what they've learned.


UFIT Spain Launches

The launch of UFIT Spain was announced during the UFIT Conference on Monday. Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT) is a global social change movement, led by the UNESCO Chair in the Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland, aiming to increase fitness opportunities for all, in particular people with disabilities.


Lessons from Lego

David Robertson, Ph.D., professor of practice at the Wharton School, global innovation and IT consultant, and author, provided insights on how to lead innovation across a company in his IHRSA European Congress keynote, “Innovation Management: The LEGO Story,” sponsored by Technogym.

Simultaneous translation in 7 languages at #ihrsacongress

A photo posted by IHRSA (@ihrsa) on Oct 17, 2016 at 5:35am PDT

Education in Seven Languages

The keynotes and education sessions were simultaneously translated from English into French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


2016 European Club Leadership Award

IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev presented Gabriel Saez, chairman and CEO of Ingesport/GO FIT, with the 2016 European Club Leadership Award on Monday. 


State-of-the-Art Fitness Equipment and Services

Attendees had several opportunities to meet one-on-one with leading suppliers of fitness equipment and services throughout the event.


Embracing Digital Technology

“In the current market situation it is no longer enough to offer good service—you need to adapt your business to a customer that is familiarized with technology, accustomed to mobility, and claiming services in line with the twenty-first century,” said Marcos Eguillor, managing partner of BinaryKnowledge and professor at IE Business School, during his IHRSA European Congress keynote address, sponsored by Keiser Fitness.


Hope to See You Next Year...

in London!


UFIT Spain Launches at IHRSA European Congress

The UFIT Conference and Launch of UFIT Spain took place at the IHRSA European Congress in Seville, Spain today.

Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT) is a global social change movement, led by the UNESCO Chair in the Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland, aiming to increase fitness opportunities for all, in particular people with disabilities.

Catherine Carty, manager of the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Fitness, Sport, PE and Recreation, opened the conference by providing an overview of the UFIT program. Dr. Javier Pérez Tejero (CEDI), the lead of UFIT Spain, underlined the significance of this revolutionary initiative and its development and brought potential future Spanish taskforce members with him that are eager to roll out the UFIT programme in Spain. The official UFIT “SIVA” song and an inspiring message from its producer, Pati Umaga, concluded the welcoming address, and later inspired dancing of the attendees.

The conference included two keynotes. The first by Colin Milner who addressed the “The Aging Opportunity” and the second by Scott Goudeseune who discussed “Why [we should] do UFIT?” The two panel discussions, involving leading global experts, got to the crux of UFIT. Some of the topics explored: the needs, the benefits, the barriers and the opportunities of inclusivizing fitness and of implementing UFIT.  

The first panel, ‘Just do UFIT’ was chaired by IHRSA Executive Vice President of Global Products Jay Ablondi and included Scott Goudeseune (ACE, USA), Dr. Javier Pérez Tejero (CEDI, Spain) and Kilian Fisher (IHRSA, International) who shared their experiences and vision. On the second panel, Fred Hoffman led Mariusz Damentko (Special Olympics Eurasia), Lauren R. Darensbourg (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, USA) and Graham Melstrand (USREPS/ CREPS, USA & Canada) on an exploration of ‘the Business Case.'  

One of the many key messages was made by Lauren R. Darensbourg stating, ”UFIT enables fitness professionals to open up their eyes to diverse group populations.” Gerard Masdeu Yélamos (UFIT Global Coordinator) then presented the global UFIT experience. In the closing address by Catherine Carty highlighted “the momentum and willingness to drive inclusion across the fitness industry is evident and energizing.” Dr. Javier Pérez Tejero then officially launched UFIT Spain and brought the conference to a great end uniting the Spanish taskforce with each other and also taskforce members of other countries.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: The Most ‘Instagrammable’ Fitness Studios

Shape Ranks Most ‘Instagrammable’ Fitness Studios in U.S.
Like it or not, social media is having an increasing effect on the fitness industry. Last week, we reported on the impact of social media on the growing popularity of inversion yoga poses. This week, a article ranked the most “Instagrammable” fitness studios in the U.S., which indicates the degree to which photo-centric social sharing may be affecting health club décor and design. “In the age of Instagram, studios are outfitting their spaces with must-'gram decor like neon-lit mantras, graffiti walls, and personalized equipment,” the article states. “It sets their space apart, and send our motivation through the roof. Not only will we get a good sweat, but we'll get to do it in a place that looks as good as we'll feel.” Among the top-ranked: 305 Fitness, a dance studio in New York City; Air, an aerial yoga boutique in L.A; and EverybodyFights, a boxing club in Boston.

IHRSA President and CEO Signs UFIT Marseilles Declaration

Dr. Oliver Murphy and IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore signing UFIT Marseille Declaration in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. The declaration represents a commitment to inclusion by and for the fitness sector, in full alignment with UNESCO’s International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Consumers Are Purchasing More Fitness Bands and Smartwatches
In the first quarter of the year, the shipments of wearables increased by 67% over the first quarter of last year, according to research firm IDC, CNET reports. Researchers suggested this growth was influenced by new strategies brands implemented to capture wearable customers, including exhibiting at tech shows and cutting prices following the holidays. Additionally, while fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Garmin continue to outsell smartwatches, smartwatches are beginning to catch up in terms of market share without eating into the sales of fitness bands. "It's shortsighted to think that basic wearables and smartwatches are in competition with each other," Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers, said in a statement. "Right now, we see both as essential to expand the overall market. The unique feature sets combined with substantial differences in price and performance sets each category apart, and leaves plenty of room for both to grow over the next few years."


UFIT Launches at 2015 IHRSA European Congress 

Today at the IHRSA European Congress in Marseille, France, a launch event was held for a new initiative that looks to provide more ways for those with disabilities to engage with and be included in the physical activity sector.

The program, known as Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT), has a few main goals that work toward diversifying the fitness industry, encouraging fitness owners, managers, and trainers to work with those with disabilities, and creating a UFIT inclusion toolkit that will provide best practices on how to embrace ‘fitness opportunities for all.’

During the launch event, a number of presentations were made, including one from Lauren R. Darensbourg, director of the ‘I Can Do It, You Can Do It!’ program in the U.S., and one given by a representative from the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition – who stressed accepting inclusivity and spreading this message through social media via the hashtag #inclusionmeans.